Dwyer and Attenborough warn of Tabcorp’s civic duties as company transitions to a new era

Tabcorp Holdings Group CEO David Attenborough and Executive Chair Paula Dwyer have issued their final joint statements as the corporate leaders of the Australia ASX gambling and lotteries firm. 

As previously communicated to markets, Attenborough and Dwyer will formally depart from all Tabcorp leadership and governance duties prior to the firm’s 2021 AGM.

The leadership duo, who have led the ASX firm since 2010, stated that Tabcorp was right to transition into a new era of company and boardroom leadership, in which the ASX firm will have to recover alongside wider Australian business and society from profound COVID-19 damages.  

Opening her statement, Dwyer remarked: “It is sobering to remember that the onset of COVID-19 followed the devastation of the National Bushfires,” reflecting on what has been a devastating year for Australia’s national psyche.

Dwyer thanked all Tabcorp teams and partners’ efforts to mitigate the nation’s chaotic circumstances, whilst driving the firm’s social responsibilities and civic duties under the toughest of conditions.

“In our response, the company offered its support to the relief effort through a number of actions, most notably donating the proceeds of a one-off Saturday Lotto Bushfire Benefit Draw, which exceeded $1.9 million,” Dwyer continued.

“On behalf of the leadership team, I would like to thank our people and our industry partners for their resilience, dedication and creativity in the way they have stepped up to meet the significant challenges and respond to the rolling disruptions and uncertainty.”

Dwyer will depart Tabcorp as the company overhauls its boardroom governance, which she stated had achieved the corporate objective of delivering on Tatts multiple merger integrations.

The appointment of Steven Gregg as new Chairman was backed by Dwyer, who added that the executive held a deep understanding of Tabcorp operations but recognised the ‘enormous complexities and duties’ of governing a listed gambling and lotteries operator.

“To sustain the company and the industry for the long term we must have a reputation for and commitment to operating our licences with the highest levels of integrity and responsibly manage the social impact of gambling.

“We have built Tabcorp into a great company with a resilient financial position, market-leading brands, strong governance, culture and risk management, and with significant growth potential from its Australian base. Finally, I would like to thank our shareholders for your interest and support over the years.”

Reflecting on 2020 events, Group CEO David Attenborough stated that he was leaving the ASX firm following the toughest professional challenge of his career leading the firm’s COVID-19 response.

A new look Tabcorp will lead the global executive search for Attenborough’s replacement, in what is expected to be Australian businesses’ biggest CEO appointment.   

Attenborough echoed Dwyer’s sentiments that the duration and severity of COVID-19 remained unclear – urging the firm’s executive management team to continue to “invest in initiatives that support our purpose of ‘Excitement with Integrity’ – such as our risk and compliance systems and customer care technology.”

 “I am proud to leave behind a Company that has been substantially transformed into a diversified, resilient, purpose-led organisation,” he concluded. “We have done a lot of work to integrate leading inclusion and diversity practices into our operations, to ensure diversity of thought and drive commercial success.

“Attracting, engaging, and retaining great talent is critical to achieving our strategic objectives. I’m proud of, and would like to thank, our talented and committed Tabcorp team, for their support over the year.”

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